Chris Lau, Kapitall: As data usage continues to skyrocket, we found three mobile stocks to consider for 2014.
When telecom companies upgraded their networks to provide speedier data access for mobile phones, consumption of data doubled. According to at least one study, Americans consumed 74% more data this year compared to 2012.
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Thanks also to the dominance of Apple's (APPL) iOS and Google’s (GOOG) Android, the demand for more data will clearly continue to rise. Carriers like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) will continue to benefit, but behind the scenes, there are a number of companies investors should look at more closely as well.Alcatel-Lucent Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is up 237% in 2013, as investors anticipate the company will benefit from surging demand in data. The company reduced its costs throughout the year, and is pushing out lightradio Wi-Fi solutions, which could be highly lucrative. That's because public Wi-Fi helps prevent smartphone users from reaching their data caps. That way Alcatel-Lucent can help providers offer secure wireless data connections for their customers without adding extra burden to the spectrum. Nokia Corporation Shares of Nokia (NOK) were renewed and are also higher, after it sold its phone devices division to Microsoft (MSFT). Nokia will be flush with cash from the sale, gaining EUR 5.44 billion. The company acquired Siemens' (SI) stake in Nokia Siemens Networks in August 2013. The new division, Nokia Solutions and Networks, specializes in mobile broadband. Higher demand for LTE will benefit the NSN division. Its partners also include Cisco (CSCO) and Juniper (JNPR). Click on the interactive charts below to view data over time. Cisco Systems Even though Cisco Systems is down from its August 2013 peak, its shares are still up 14.6% for 2013. Cisco supplies Wi-Fi equipment to carriers. This includes Wi-Fi access points and hotspot controllers. Any 3G/4G deployments will almost certainly benefit Cisco.